Northern Ireland elderly get more antipsychotic drugs in care homes

Elderly woman's hand Antipsychotic drug dispensing in older people more than doubled when they entered care

Related Stories

Elderly people in NI are given drugs such as tranquilisers and anti-dementia drugs at a much higher rate in care homes than when they are living in the community, a study has found.

The study was carried out by scientists from Queen's University Belfast.

It analysed prescribing data for over 250,000 people, aged 65 years and over, living in NI from 2008 to 2010,

It found that antipsychotic drug dispensing in older people more than doubled when they entered care.

The study found that 8.2% were prescribed the drug before entry to care homes and that rose to 18.6% after entering care.

Lead researcher on the Queen's study, Aideen Maguire, said: "Although drug dispensing is high in older people in the community, we have found that it increases dramatically on entry to care.

"This study showed that the high uptake of psychotropic drugs observed in care homes in Northern Ireland cannot be explained by a continuation of drug use initiated in the community prior to entering care.

"With an ageing population globally it is important that we look at the reasons behind this type of increase following admission to care.

"Antipsychotic uptake in Northern Ireland is similar to that in the rest of the UK and Ireland, and this study highlights the need for routine medicines reviews especially during the transition into care."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Northern Ireland stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • RomeTop coffee cities

    These six places are known for their top-notch brews and caffeine-focused cultures

Programmes

  • A microphoneClick Watch

    The app that turns your voice into a musical instrument

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.